The organisational culture of NW engineering workplaces : the influence on women engineers

Sapleton, N, Takruri-Rizk, H ORCID:, Dhar-Bhattacharjee, S and Bezer, R 2009, The organisational culture of NW engineering workplaces : the influence on women engineers , in: 8th IAS-STS Annual Conference: Critical Issues in Science and Technology Studies, 4th-5th May 2009, Graz, Austria.

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In England’s North West, engineering continues to be a major industry: employing 90,000 workers, accounting for around a quarter of jobs in the region, and generating £13 billion of the North West’s £44 billion total Gross Domestic Product. However, despite this growth and over 30 years of equality legislation, women in engineering careers in the region remain an insignificant statistical category. Whilst initiatives aimed at increasing female recruitment to the industry have had some, albeit limited effect, retention of female engineers is falling, suggesting that female encounters with organisational cultures in engineering firms may be less than encouraging. The WEWIN project team examined, analysed and contrasted the experiences of men and women working in engineering occupations in the North West, over a period of 12 months. Using participant observation, focus groups, questionnaires and in-depth interviews with engineers,technical directors and HR professionals, the research team explored the broad array of explanations for the persistence of occupational segregation in this industry; and importantly, attempted to ascertain those factors which aid the successful recruitment and retention of female engineers. Beyond palpable sex discrimination, the team identified a series of complex interactions between multifaceted phenomena - ranging from the long hours culture to the gender stereotyping of roles - which can all lead to an early exit from the engineering industry for many women. This paper presents the findings of the WEWIN research, outlines the barriers to effective female participation in the engineering industry, and, importantly, explores possible solutions to this enduring conundrum

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Themes: Subjects outside of the University Themes
Schools: Schools > School of Computing, Science and Engineering > Salford Innovation Research Centre
Journal or Publication Title: 8th IAS-STS Annual Conference: Critical Issues in Science and Technology Studies
Refereed: Yes
Related URLs:
Funders: European Social Fund (ESF)
Depositing User: H Takruri
Date Deposited: 12 Apr 2013 13:04
Last Modified: 15 Feb 2022 18:18
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